NHL Morning Headlines & Rumor Mill – September 21, 2020

NHL Morning Headlines & Rumor Mill – September 21, 2020

The latest on Steven Stamkos and Jimmy Howard in this morning’s NHL headlines, plus updates on the Devils, Flyers, Senators, and Hurricanes in the NHL rumor mill.

NHL MORNING COFFEE HEADLINES

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said Steven Stamkos is inching closer to returning to action, but he doesn’t expect his captain to suit up for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight against the Dallas Stars. Stamkos has been sidelined since July with a core-muscle issue.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Goaltender Jimmy Howard wants to continue his NHL playing career but acknowledged it probably won’t be with the Red Wings. Howard, 36, is an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 9.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings are likely in the market for a starting goaltender, something Howard is no longer capable of being. He could land elsewhere on a one-year deal as a backup and mentor to a younger starter.

TSN: Former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Albert (Junior) Langlois passed away over the weekend at age 85. He spent four seasons with the Canadiens from 1957 to 1961, winning three Stanley Cups. He also spent three seasons with the New York Rangers, two with the Boston Bruins, and one with the Detroit Red Wings, followed by one season with the WHL before retiring in 1967.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Langlois’ family, friends and former teammates.

NHL RUMOR MILL

TSN RADIO VANCOUVER: TSN analyst Ray Ferraro speculated Devils defenseman Damon Severson may have “soured” in New Jersey. Ferraro noted Severson is a right-hand shot, praising his skating and shot. He believes the 26-year-old blueliner would be more affordable than Minnesota’s Matt Dumba if the Devils are willing to move him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils have been quiet since hiring Lindy Ruff as head coach and removing the interim tag from Tom Fitzgerald’s title as general manager in early July. Their most notable move since then was hiring Mark Recchi earlier this month as an assistant coach.

We don’t know if Fitzgerald has any intention of shopping Severson, who has three years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $4.166 million and lacking no-trade protection. The Devils have $55.2 million invested in 13 players. Unless they have an internal cap lower than the league’s $81.5 million, Fitzgerald won’t be under pressure to shed salary. Nevertheless, it could be worth keeping an eye on Severson and the Devils in the coming weeks as activity builds up in the trade market.

PHILLY.com‘s Sam Carchidi believes the Philadelphia Flyers will try to move defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and winger James van Riemsdyk. He believes Gostisbehere will draw more interest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both players are signed through 2022-23 and lack no-trade protection. Gostisbehere, however, carries an annual average value of $4.5 million while van Riemsdyk’s is $7 million. So yeah, there will probably be more interest in Ghost Bear than JVR in this economic climate.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch expects the Senators will receive plenty of calls from clubs looking to shed contracts in exchange for draft picks. The Sens have nine picks in the first three rounds and 13 in total.

Garrioch doesn’t expect them to take on bad contracts but maybe they can use this situation to their advantage to bolster their roster. It’s believed they’ve been in talks for a veteran goalie, including Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray. The Columbus Blue Jackets and Arizona Coyotes could also be shopping goaltenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sens have three first-round picks, including the third and fifth overall, in this year’s draft. I don’t see them moving either of those (or both) unless they’re getting a terrific player in return. They could, however, entertain offers for the first-rounder they acquired from the New York Islanders in the Jean-Gabriel Pageau trade at the February trade deadline.

The Blue Jackets could move either Joonas Korpisalo or Elvis Merzlikins. The Coyotes, meanwhile, could shop Darcy Kuemper or Antti Raanta.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): With the Carolina Hurricanes carrying limited salary-cap space next season, Sara Civian wondered if they’ll go the free-agent or trade route to upgrade their goaltending.

Free-agent options could include Vegas’ Robin Lehner, Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom or Dallas’ Anton Khudobin, though Civian doesn’t expect an encore with the Hurricanes for the latter. If the Golden Knights re-sign Lehner, she suggests the Hurricanes look into acquiring Marc-Andre Fleury.

Civian wondered what they’d be willing to trade for a goalie. Jaccob Slavin is off-limits, they don’t want to trade Brett Pesce or Martin Necas, and she doesn’t believe they’d move Dougie Hamilton even though he’s a year away from UFA eligibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe the Hurricanes can become a Cup contender next season with their current goaltending tandem of Petr Mrazek and James Reimer. Maybe they ride it out for another season with those two until their contracts expire next summer, but if the front office is serious about building a contender, they must look to the trade or free-agent market for an upgrade.










NHL Rumor Mill – September 6, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – September 6, 2019

Breaking down the Patrik Laine internet trade rumors plus an update on Torey Krug in today’s NHL rumor mill.

COULD THE JETS TRADE LAINE?

FEATURD.IO: Daniel Love took note of what appears to be tension between Patrik Laine and the Winnipeg Jets to speculate about a possible trade of the restricted free agent winger. Off-season reports from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek suggested Laine chafed under the club’s leadership last season. Love also compared Kyle Connor’s stated desire for a long-term extension with the Jets to Laine’s recent tepid remarks about his future in Winnipeg.

Does Patrik Laine face an uncertain future with the Winnipeg Jets? (Photo via NHL Images)

Laine is a rising young offensive star but he tends to be a one-dimensional player who makes mistakes with and without the puck. His rumored clashes with the club’s leadership core add fuel to the trade speculation. If the Jets decide to shop Laine, the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils are among the rumored destinations. Love also wondered if the Florida Panthers might come calling.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Laine internet trade rumors ramped up since the Labor Day weekend. The Hurricanes are supposedly offering Andrei Svechnikov and either Jaccob Slavin or Brett Pesce while the Devils are said to be offering three of their next four first-round picks and blueliner Damon Severson. Another rumor has the Montreal Canadiens dangling Max Domi while the New York Islanders are also supposedly pursuing Laine. There’s nothing, meanwhile from the Winnipeg media, any of the media in those other NHL cites, or respected NHL media insiders suggesting Laine going anywhere.

I’m not dismissing the possibility if he and the Jets can’t reach an agreement on a new contract. Nevertheless, I’m skeptical about those aforementioned destinations.

Cap Friendly indicates the Hurricanes have around $2.4 million in salary-cap space. Assuming Laine wants at least a $7.5 million annual cap hit on his next contract, they’ll have to shed considerable salary to accommodate him. Slavin and Pesce are two of their best defensemen. They’re not going anywhere. The Devils ($8.7 million) can afford Laine’s new contract but I don’t see them moving Severson or three first-round picks to get him.

I don’t believe the Canadiens will part with Domi. He was the their top forward last season and loves playing in Montreal. Moving Domi would also weaken their depth at center. They’ve got some promising young centers in Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ryan Poehling, and Nick Suzuki but they’re not yet ready for prime time.

The Islanders, meanwhile, have over $4.6 million in cap space. Unless they’re shedding considerable salary, they can’t afford Laine. Defenseman Nick Leddy has often surfaced as a trade candidate this summer. However, he’s a left-side blueliner and the Jets need depth on the right side.

NOTHING BRUIN IN KRUG CONTRACT TALKS

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss cites USA Today’s Kevin Allen reporting Torey Krug said there have been no contract extension talks with the Boston Bruins. The 28-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He understands management’s focus is currently on re-signing restricted free agents rearguards Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.

Krug didn’t rule out accepting a hometown discount to stay in Boston. “Would I take less to stay in Boston? It’s something that I’ve talked about with my family and my agent. It’s something I’m interested in,” Krug said. His current salary-cap hit is $5.25 million. Goss suggested Nashville Predators d-man Ryan Ellis’ contract (eight years, $50 million) as a comparable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A $6.25 million cap hit could be a reasonable amount to keep Krug in the fold. His future in Boston will depend upon his performance, as well as the club’s, throughout this season.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 27, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – June 27, 2019

Updates on Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, Joe Pavelski, Corey Perry, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”

SPORTSNET: Despite the Colorado Avalanche’s salary-cap space, Elliotte Friedman doesn’t see them as a destination for unrestricted free agent winger Artemi Panarin. He believes they’re also concerned about signing UFAs to long-term deals. That could affect efforts to re-sign key players like Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog down the road. He said they were looking at winger Mats Zuccarello but contract term could be an issue. Friedman thinks Joe Pavelski “makes a lot of sense here”, but the contract term makes it unlikely. 

Friedman also said the Avs unwillingness to part with their first-round pick (16th overall) in this year’s draft scuttled a proposed deal for Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers. He doubts they’ll revisit their interest in Kreider. He also shot down rumors linking the Avs to Montreal Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic has lots of salary-cap space ($38.9 million, according to Cap Friendly) and is looking for more scoring punch. Shipping out Carl Soderberg earlier this week to Arizona stokes speculation he’s got bigger moves in store.

Like Friedman, I don’t see Panarin heading to Colorado but it didn’t hurt to inquire. Pavelski hasn’t met with the Avalanche but visited the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

If Sakic’s unwilling to invest too much for too long in older UFAs, he could return to the trade market. Some believe he’s preparing to sign Toronto’s Mitch Marner to an offer sheet. However, I’ve read he’s not a fan of offer sheets. I don’t think Sakic’s done making moves. 

Speaking of Panarin, Friedman said it looks like the Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, and New York Rangers are the front-runners for his services. The Panthers are also linked to UFA goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Friedman speculates Bobrovsky’s new contract could affect Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Lightning netminder is a restricted free agent next summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks acknowledged the Rangers are on Panarin’s radar but the Panthers are considered the favorites to sign him. He feels the potential cost of signing Panarin ($11-$12 million per season for seven years) would be too high for the Blueshirts. 

Pending UFA center Matt Duchene met with the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday (Photo via NHL Images).

Having shipped P.K. Subban and his $9-million annual average value to New Jersey, Friedman wonders if the Nashville Predators will pursue Matt Duchene. The Columbus Blue Jackets center is slated to become a UFA on July 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Duchene is slated to meet with the Predators today. Darren Dreger reported the 28-year-old center met with the Montreal Canadiens yesterday. While Habs fans are excited over the notion of Duchene signing with the Habs, I think the Preds are going to get him. They’re still a Stanley Cup contender, Duchene loves Nashville, and Tennessee doesn’t have a state tax.

After trading Subban, the Predators might not be done dealing. The Tennessean’s Paul Skrbina wonders if Kyle Turris, Ryan Ellis, or Nick Bonino might become trade candidates. 

The Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins are on Corey Perry’s radar. Friedman also wonders if the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators will pursue him. Friedman also wonders if the Canadiens might take a run at New York Islanders winger Anders Lee. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: But is Perry on the Habs and Penguins radar? His declining speed and production are significant concerns. If the Canadiens are looking at Lee they’re going to have competition. Recent speculation suggests the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks could also pursue him. 

Friedman thinks forward Gustav Nyquist could be a fit with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He also reports the Calgary Flames could try to move winger Michael Frolik before July 1, with the New Jersey Devils a possibility. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports the San Jose Sharks haven’t ruled out bringing back Nyquist. He also cites sources saying the Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings (Nyquist’s former team) could also have interest in him. 

Speaking of the Devils, Friedman said they’re not moving blueliner Damon Severson. The Minnesota Wild could make a pitch for winger Wayne Simmonds. 

The San Jose Sharks would like to move backup goalie Aaron Dell. Mike Smith’s been tied to Calgary, as is former Flyers goalie Cam Talbot. Edmonton and Carolina are also possible destinations for Smith. The Oilers are linked to Petr Mrazek and Semyon Varlamov. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers have reportedly connected with Smith. If he heads up the road to Edmonton, the Flames could go after Talbot as an affordable short-term replacement. 

Despite not qualifying Ben Hutton, the Vancouver Canucks will try to sign him to a more palatable contract. They could still be the favorite to sign Tyler Myers. In need of another left-hand defenseman, perhaps they’ll consider Jordie Benn. The salary-cap recapture penalty ($3.03 million) for Roberto Luongo’s contract will dent their salary-cap space. Friedman also said the rumored “Tyson Barrie-to-Vancouver” deal was never as close as it seemed. 

OTHER FREE-AGENT NEWS

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports teams have contacted representatives of Carolina’s Sebastian Aho and Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor. The two are restricted free agents and eligible to receive offer sheets from rival clubs. 

The Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche, and Buffalo Sabres are among the clubs interested in San Jose Sharks UFA winger Joonas Donskoi.

The Florida Panthers are among six clubs who’ve reached out to UFA defenseman Anton Stralman. 










NHL Rumor Mill – July 23, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – July 23, 2018

An update on Max Pacioretty plus the latest on the Vancouver Canucks in your NHL rumor mill.

NO COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PACIORETTY AND CANADIENS MANAGEMENT?

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Marc de Foy reports sources claim Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin ignored captain Max Pacioretty for months last season. Last month, a deal that would’ve sent Pacioretty to the Los Angeles Kings during the NHL Draft fell through. An unrestricted free agent next July, Pacioretty has been linked to the Florida Panthers, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders. de Foy notes Bergevin apparently doesn’t want to negotiate a contract extension with Pacioretty. He said relations appear tense between the two sides and it seems like a matter of time until Pacioretty is traded.

A recent report claims the relationship between Max Pacioretty and Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has deteriorated (Photo via NHL Images).

de Foy also claims former Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov contacted his ex-teammates last November telling them he was unhappy playing in the KHL and wanted to return to the Canadiens, but Bergevin turned a deaf ear. Noting the Habs GM also shipped out P.K. Subban to Nashville two years ago, de Foy wonders about Bergevin’s attitude toward the club’s popular players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree Pacioretty seems destined to be dealt between now and next February’s NHL trade deadline. Bergevin’s failed attempt to ship the left winger to the Kings indicates the Habs GM no longer sees his captain as being part of his club’s long-term future.

Teams are undoubtedly interested in Pacioretty, who carries an affordable $4.5-million cap hit for 2018-19 and lacks no-trade protection. However, those clubs probably want to ink the winger to a contract extension. His apparent unwillingness to do that (which is considered the reason why the deal with the Kings fell through) could adversely affect his trade value. 

de Foy also said those sources claim Bergevin makes life difficult for players who struggle on the ice. However, we should probably take this with a grain of salt.

Carey Price had his difficulties and is very popular with Canadiens fans yet he and Bergevin had no problem agreeing last summer to a lucrative long-term contract. The Canadiens GM also doesn’t seem to have any issues with scrappy fan favorite Brendan Gallagher.

Subban’s trade was said to be based in part upon some friction between the flamboyant blueliner and some of his teammates. Markov’s departure and that of winger Alexander Radulov appears based upon on Bergevin’s misguided attempt at playing hardball in contract talks, forcing the two players to accept other offers.

LATEST ON THE CANUCKS

THE ATHLETIC: JD Burke suggests New Jersey’s Damon Severson, Carolina’s Justin Faulk and Dallas’ Julius Honka as three players from the “secondary trade market” for the Vancouver Canucks to explore.

Burke admits it’s hard to imagine why the Devils would part with Severson but noted TSN’s Blake Price last month linked the Canucks to the New Jersey blueliner. The Hurricanes are loaded with right-side defensemen and Faulk’s frequently come up in the rumor mill. Burke feels somebody has to give Honka a break, as he struggled to establish himself as a full-time NHLer under former Stars coaches Lindy Ruff and Ken Hitchcock. 

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt teams called about Severson. The fact he hasn’t been moved yet suggests Devils GM Ray Shero has no interest in trading him or no one is willing to meet his asking price.

The Hurricanes could seek a scoring forward for Faulk. Rumors linking him to the Chicago Blackhawks claimed the asking price was left wing Brandon Saad or center Nick Schmaltz. Based on that, the Canucks could be asked to part with Bo Horvat or Brock Boeser.

Honka could be more affordable and was mentioned as part of a suggested return for Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson. But with the Stars hiring Jim Montgomery as their new bench boss, maybe Honka gets another chance to stick with the Stars. 

THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford recently noted the Vancouver Canucks expressed their desire to be active in this summer’s trade market but so far no deal has materialized. He wondered if they have a defenseman they can package for a beneficial return. He notes

Alex Edler reportedly won’t waive his no-trade clause. Chris Tanev’s injury-ravaged 2017-18 campaign hurt his trade value and interested parties want the Canucks to absorb part of his $4.45-million cap hit. Botchford considers Erik Gudbranson almost untradeable as many teams “see him as a third-pairing defenseman making $4 million.”

Ben Hutton’s poor season and $2.8-million cap hit makes him “as close to untradeable as anyone.”  Botchford also notes teams aren’t lining up for Michael Del Zotto and his $3-million cap hit. He also doesn’t see Derrick Pouliot or Troy Stecher getting moved. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the Canucks lack the defensive depth to use as bait to land a quality return to help them elsewhere on the roster. 

 











NHL Rumor Mill – January 16, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – January 16, 2018

Latest on John Tavares and Paul Martin plus updates on the Leafs and Senators in your NHL rumor mill.

TAVARES HOPES TO REMAIN AN ISLANDER

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports New York Islanders center John Tavares hasn’t made any decisions yet on his future, but indicated his preference is to remain an Islander. “There’s a lot of positive things going forward with the organization and the team here. I haven’t thought about being anywhere else but with the Islanders,” said Tavares.

Tavares, 26, is eligible for unrestricted free agent status in July but so far there’s been no contract talks between the two sides. “When Tavares and (agent Pat) Brisson are ready to talk numbers, the Isles will be all ears. They seem ready to lavish the biggest contract in the NHL on their captain,” write Staple.

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector suggests the Islanders could improve their chances of re-signing Tavares by improving their goaltending before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. He points out the tandem of Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak is “borderline bad”, which could prove costly to their playoff hopes this season.

With “Buffalo, Ottawa, Montreal, Arizona, Vancouver and Edmonton” as potential deadline sellers and Florida and Detroit close to joining them, the goaltending pickings are slim. Spector suggests Buffalo’s Robin Lehner, Detroit’s Jimmy Howard and Montreal’s largely unproven Charlie Lindgren as possibilities and rules outs Edmonton’s Cam Talbot and Ottawa’s Craig Anderson. He notes Isles GM Garth Snow has extra picks in the first and second rounds of this year’s draft to use as trade bait.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders will likely pay whatever Tavares wants to keep him in the fold. Getting approval to construct a new arena in Belmont Park could also help them in their negotiations with their captain. However, Tavares will need assurances the club is building toward Stanley Cup contention. Their play this season could factor into his decision.

Improving their goaltending could help but there’s not much available in the trade market right now. I don’t see the Sabres parting with Lehner and Howard could be unwilling to accept a trade to the Islanders. I don’t believe the Habs want to part with the promising Lindgren. Talbot and Anderson aren’t going anywhere. 

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs consider pursuing Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green? (Photo via NHL Images)

GREEN, SEVERSON AND THE LEAFS

THE ATHLETIC: Craig Custance reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland hasn’t approached pending UFA defenseman Mike Green about waiving his no-trade clause. Custance suggests the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning could benefit from an experienced right-shot defenseman, though the Leafs could prefer one with a more physical edge. He also noted the Washington Capitals could also use another defenseman but doubts they could have interest in bringing Green back. The Wings’ could set an asking price of a second- and a third-round draft pick. While Green carries a $6-million cap hit, the Wings could be willing to retain part of his salary.

In a recent mailbag segment, James Mirtle was asked about the possibility of the Leafs pursuing a defenseman such as New Jersey’s Damon Severson. Noting the decline in Severson’s ice time this season and the fact Leafs general manager (and former Devils GM) Lou Lamoriello is a fan, Mirtle thinks it’s plausible the blueliner could be available. However, adding Severson and his $4.17-million annual cap hit could affect efforts to add a top-pairing blueliner down the line.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Leafs are looking for a rental player, Green could be the best available option. If they’re seeking a more physical rearguard, however,  they could prefer someone like Vancouver’s Erik Gudbranson. As for Severson, I don’t believe he’s available. In a recent mailbag segment, NJ.com’s Chris Ryan said he doesn’t expect the Devils to make any blockbuster deals at the trade deadline. “The Devils may look into a very cheap rental, but don’t expect them to move any major future assets unless they’re bringing in a piece that helps them beyond this season,” said Ryan.

SHOULD THE BRUINS PURSUE MARTIN?

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty wonders if the Bruins might consider plucking veteran defenseman Paul Martin off waivers from the San Jose Sharks. He observes the Bruins are in the market for an experienced minute-munching blueliner who could perhaps pair with Charlie McAvoy. Haggerty notes they kicked the tires on Pittsburgh’s Ian Cole but the asking price at the time was too high. “Why not pick up Martin for nothing aside from his contract when he’s been a top-4 defenseman his entire career rather than trade for a guy like that’s never averaged 20 minutes per game during his entire NHL career?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Martin was in the final season of his contract, maybe the Bruins might consider plucking him off waivers. Given his age (36) and $4.85 million cap through through 2018-19, there will be questions over how much longer he can remain effective as a possible top-four blueliner. If the Bruins have interest in Martin, a trade might be the better way to go. The Sharks are reportedly willing to consider picking up part of his contract to facilitate a trade. Boston won’t have to give up much, perhaps a third-round draft pick, to get him. 

SENATORS UPDATE

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators won’t lack for suitors near the Feb. 26 trade deadline. He cites league insiders claiming the “San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks” may be in the market for a forward at the deadline.

Garrioch said the Senators have indicated defenseman Erik Karlsson and Mark Stone aren’t available. He adds most of the inquiries from rival clubs are about forwards “Mike Hoffman, Zack Smith, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Ryan Dzingel and Derick Brassard” While the Sens are listening to offers for Pageau, Dzingel and Brassard, Garrioch would be surprised if any of them are moved.

Garrioch suggests keeping an eye on the New Jersey Devils as GM Ray Shero could try to add scoring before the deadline. Hoffman could address their needs, provided the Devils are on his 10-team list of preferred trade destinations. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NJ.com’s Chris Ryan (see above) doesn’t expect the Devils will make a major deadline deal but could instead consider an affordable rental option. That would rule out Hoffman, who has two years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of over $5.18 million. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 12, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 12, 2017

Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson might not return to action until November.

Updates on Erik Karlsson, the Sedins, Jack Eichel, Alex Galchenyuk & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

 OTTAWA SUN: Senators captain Erik Karlsson could be out of the lineup until November. The blueliner is recovering from offseason surgery to repair tendons in his left foot and is adamant he won’t return until he’s at least close to full health.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson’s absence will be keenly felt on the Senators blueline and will also affect their offense. How they adjust could also affect their start and their hopes of rebuilding upon last season’s improvement. 

Speaking of the Senators, goaltender Craig Anderson and general manager Pierre Dorion aren’t rushing into contract talks but neither side is concerned. Anderson, 36, is eligible for unrestricted free agency next July. Anderson said he’d like finish his career in Ottawa.

The Senators also signed forward Chris VandeVelde to a professional tryout offer.

SPORTSNET:Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak is focused upon the upcoming season, saying he’s had no contact extension talks. Like Anderson, he’s eligible for UFA status next July.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes it’s not a question of if the Leafs win the Stanley Cup, but when. Buoyed by rising stars Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, Simmons suggest the Leafs could become Cup contenders as early as 2018-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmons excitement is understandable. The Leafs’ impressive improvement last season, led by Matthews, Marner and Nylander, is giving their long-suffering fans hope for the future. Time will tell, however, if they’ll fulfill that promise. 

THE PLAYERS’ TRIBUNE: The Sedin Twins insist they have no desire to leave the Vancouver Canucks to pursue a Stanley Cup championship elsewhere. They both consider Vancouver their home and intend to retire as Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Sedins want to nip in the bud any suggestion they should accept a trade in the final season of their contract. That might not sit well with some Canucks fans who could call upon the twins to allow the club to move them for a return that hastens their rebuilding process. However, the twins should be commended for their loyalty to the only NHL franchise they’ve ever played for. 

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill remains hopeful of re-signing center Jack Eichel to a contract extension in the near future. “We’re trying to get a deal done now. I think both parties are very optimistic a deal can be put in place…Jack won’t let this be a distraction.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel’s entering the final season of his entry-level contract. His new deal could cost up to $10 million per season on a long-term deal. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE:  The Canadiens intend to start Alex Galchenyuk on the wing when the seasons opens. GM Marc Bergevin said the club will try recently-acquired Jonathan Drouin as a center.

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed defenseman Damon Severson to a six-year, $25 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Severson’s new deal is worth just over $4.1 million per season. In actual salary, he’ll earn $2.5 million this season, $3 million next season, $4.68 million in both 2019-20 and 2020-21 and just over $5 million in 2021-22 and 2022-23.The 23-year-old is the Devils best puck-moving blueliner. Given their limited blueline depth, they had little choice but to ink Severson to a significant raise. 

THE ATHLETIC: The agent for Columbus Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson said his client won’t attend training camp without a contract. The 23-year-old had 17 goals last season, his first full campaign in the NHL. There’s talk Anderson could skate with a team in Switzerland while awaiting a new deal with the Jackets.

THE ATHLETIC’s Michael Russo reports restricted free agent forward Marcus Foligno is very close to re-signing with the Minnesota Wild. 

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues signed defenseman Petteri Lindbohm to a one-year, two-way contract.

NBC SPORTS: The Chicago Blackhawks have invited forwards John Mitchell and Drew Miller and defenseman Mark Stuart on professional tryout contracts. 

AZCENTRAL: Former Arizona Coyotes star Shane Doan was named Grand Marshal of the Fiesta Bowl Parade, slated for Dec. 30 in Central Phoenix.